CDV: almost 700 check ups in 5 days

A recent survey showed just how little people really know about glaucoma

Eyewear spells fashion and business, but also health: eyeglasses to see better and sunglasses for protection. That's why the Commissione Difesa Vista (Eyesight Protection Committee), in liaison with the non-profit organisations IAPB Onlus and VISION+ Onlus, sponsored an important prevention initiative scheduled to coincide with MIDO, the biggest trade exhibition in the world of eyewear, which was held in Milan from March 11 through 13. The citizens of Milan were offered the chance of having free eye tests on board mobile opthalmic units parked in strategic points of the city, at Pagano, in the courtyard of the Bonola Shopping Centre and in a permanent clinic located in the Assago Milanofiori Shopping Centre, courtesy of Ségécé Italia S.r.l..


The initiative proved a great success. With the help of no less than 23 opticians and orthoptists in just 5 days around 700 check-ups were performed (test using auto refractometer and measurement of intraocular pressure). Informative material was distributed and the citizens were invited to complete a questionnaire as part of a survey into risk factors for glaucoma. Then, last week (from March 11 through 17) was also World Glaucoma Week. As for the results of the survey, they were very disappointing. It emerged that people are alarmingly ill-informed about the disease. While many people are aware that glaucoma is a disease related to the eyes, they have no idea at all how it is diagnosed or how it can be prevented, and still less about the serious damage it can cause if it is not treated.


"These results only go to underscore how crucial it is to sponsor initiatives of this kind," explains Vittorio Tabacchi, Chairman of the Commissione Difesa Vista. "Not only can early diagnosis help save our eyesight, but accurate information too is an essential factor in prevention."


The initiatives – the free eye tests and the survey designed to probe knowledge about glaucoma – carried out at the time of the MIDO, the International Optics, Optometry and Ophthalmology Exhibition, are merely the latest phase in a prevention project that has been carried forward by the Commissione Difesa Vista in collaboration with the non-profit Vision+ Onlus.


"Our collaboration with the CDV was launched exactly one year ago with the tests carried out at Malpensa," explains Professor Demetrio Spinelli, oculist and Chairman of Vision+ Onlus. "We continued with the White Tram initiative, on World Eyesight Day on last October 13, through to the important event organized at the Fair called 'G! Come Giocare' (G as in Games), in the course of which we performed eye tests on children and their parents."


Prevention and information: these are the buzzwords for protection of the health of our eyes. "All initiatives that are aimed at preventing blindness, such as that organized in Milan, are extremely useful," confirmed Attorney Giuseppe Castronovo, Chairman of the non-profit IAPB Italia Onlus. "Indeed, all too many people still do nothing about the prevention of eye disease: they do not have their eyesight tested adequately or regularly by the oculist. Glaucoma is a disease that many people still know very little about, but it is extremely important to raise awareness, encouraging them to have regular eye check-ups. The blindness prevention culture needs to become a habitual practice."


"This is why, in addition to organizing conferences for the sector professionals, it is even more crucial to plan initiatives aimed at the end users, both adults and children," concludes Tabacchi. "Free tests that can bring to light any eyesight problems and suggest the best approach for correcting them, as well as information campaigns that explain the importance of prevention and eye health."


90% of the information that reaches us from the outer world passes through our eyes. Considering this, in this area the saying "Prevention is better than cure" is truer than ever!